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Sugar-Salem High School

School Info
Conference: 3A Mountain Rivers Conference
Classification: 3A


Head Coach: Tyler Richins

Years as Head Coach: 6th Season

Previous Experience: Shelley/Hillcrest Assistant Coach

Record Last Year: 10-1

State Titles: 2018

Assistant Coaches:
Dan Bennion
Brad Parkinson
Latu Fuluvaka
Brady Gardner
Kip Blanchard
James Poole
Dan Mecham
Kyle Hansen
Rick Dixon
Aaron Vang
Ted Parkinson


Returning Players:
Hadley Miller, RB/WR/DB, 12
Tanner Harris, QB/LB, 12
Sam Parkinson, RB/LB, 12
Riley Thurber, WR/S, 12
Ben Funk, OL/DL, 12
Kyler Handy, TE/DL, 12
Browning Benion, RB/LB, 12
Mckay Schulthies, RB/WR/DB, 12
Brayton Pope, RB/LB, 12
Kaden Malstrom, OL/DL, 12
Kenneth Copley, OL/DL, 12
Kyler Dalling, OL/DL, 12

Returning Players with Honors:
Tanner Harris, 3A All-State Player of the Year
MRC Offensive Player of the Year
Browning Bennion, 1st Team All-State LB, 1st Team MRC LB
Kenneth Copley, 1st Team All-State Offensive Line
1st Team All State Defensive Line, MRC CO-Defensive Player of the Year
Hadley Miller, 2nd Team All-State Punter, 2nd Team MRC DB
Riley Thurber, 2nd Team All-State DB, 1st Team MRC DB
Sam Parkinson, 1st Team MRC RB
McKay Schulthies, 2nd Team MRC WR
Kaden Malstrom, 2nd Team MRC OL
Brayton Pope, 2nd Team MRC LB
Kyler Handy, 2nd Team MRC TE

Key Players lost from last year:
Brady Blaser, OL/LB 2 Way 1st Team All-State Player at OL and LB
3 year Starter at LB
Hayden Crapo, RB/DL 1st Team All-State Defensive Line,
Emotional Leader, 3 year Varsity Starter
Gerohm Rihari, RB/WR/DB 1st Team All-State DB,
2nd Team All-State WR
Ethan Warner, RB/WR/DB 2nd Team All-State WR
Kyler Ostermiller, RB/DL, 4 year Varsity Starter



Photo By: Kelly Magee - #11 Hadley Miller



Incoming impact players:
Keayen Nead, TE/DL, 12
Braden Kirk, WR/DB 12
Caleb Birch, RB/WR/LB 12
Tim Price, WR/DB 12
Kolby Westwood, OL/DL, 12
Kaleb Maughn, OL/DL, 12
RJ Ricks, OL/DL, 12
Trae Garner, TE/DL, 12
Porter Chase, WR/DL, 12
Kyzon Garner, QB/LB, 11
Brigham Lee, WR/LB, 11
Crew Clark, RB/WR/DB 11
Kendle Harris, RB/WR/DB 11
Logan Cutler, RB/LB 11
Daxtyn Zollinger, RB/LB 11
Jacob Neal, RB/WR/LB 11
Teagon Brower, OL/DL 11
Keaton Leavitt, OL/DL 11
Braxton Peebles, OL/DL 11
Team Preview:
Written By: Will Hoenike

Let’s get this out of the way early – yes, the Sugar-Salem Diggers have a legitimate chance to repeat as 3A state champions on the football field this fall.

There. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss why.

First of all, experience. The Diggers have an experienced head coach, Tyler Richins is going into his sixth season as the program’s head coach and his staff and athletes have a good idea of what to expect. Sugar-Salem has won 32 games over the past four seasons – an average of eight per campaign – including last fall’s 10-1 state-title team.

Second, returning talent. There are five players who were voted onto the All-State team coming back this fall, headlined by reigning 3A Player of the Year Tanner Harris who threw 17 touchdown passes last fall and ran for 12 more, collecting over 2,000 all-purpose yards along the way. Also back is Browning Bennion, who led the team last fall with 88 tackles from his linebacker position, including nine behind the line of scrimmage. And then Kenneth Copley, who was honored as a first-teamer on both the offensive and defensive lines after helping lead the offense to nearly 250 yards per game rushing while anchoring a defense that surrendered just eleven points per game in 2018. Hadley Miller (P) and Riley Thurber (DB) were both voted 2nd Team All-State. Five more – Sam Parkinson, McKay Schulthies, Kaden Malstrom, Brayton Pope, and Kyler Handy – were selected to the All-Mountain Rivers Conference team at the end of the season. They’re all back.

“These kids know how to win. They are very competitive and have high expectations for themselves,” Richins said, walking us to point number three. “Some players are going to have to step up and play bigger roles and some will have to play different positions for the sake of the team.”

Ah yes, number three. Expectations of the team. Sugar Salem High School is coming off one of the best years ever for a single school in Idaho, a year that was documented by IdahoSports.com before the spring sports even began. The boys went on to win the state title in track & field, reach the state title game in baseball, and finish fourth as a team in boys tennis. It was truly an amazing year, for both the boys and the girls, at Sugar-Salem last academic year. That taste is fresh in everyone’s mouth and the football team wants to keep it going.

“The key to our offensive success will be our offensive line. We have three starters returning on our line but filling those two empty spots will be critical,” Richins said. “We feel like our success as a team and on defense is stopping the run. We have a solid group of returners and a handful of kids that have played a significant role since they were sophomores.”

Add it all up and it’s not difficult to see another strong season from the Diggers in 2019.

There are areas to grow and improve, Richins pointed out.

“In the offseason, we have been really working hard to get faster and more physical,” Richins said. “We feel like those two areas are things we can control by hard work and dedication. They are also two things that could be difference makers each game and late into the season.”

And, despite the plethora of talented players returning to the Diggers’ lineup, Richins mentioned his program lost 20 seniors off of last season’s state-title team and those players will need to be replaced.

“We are looking to our underclassmen to come in, make a difference, and fill some of those roles from the departing senior class,” he said. “We hope to get better each week and peak at the right time.”

The Diggers open the season against defending 2A state champion Declo, providing a good test right out of the gates. The team then closes the regular season at home against a tough South Fremont squad that gave Sugar-Salem one of its toughest tests of 2018 and was one point away from reaching the 3A semifinals itself.

“Depth will be a little bit more of a concern this year but we are optimistic our underclassmen can step in and fill those roles,” Richins noted. “We hope that, as our program continues to develop, we will always have underclassmen coming in ready to contribute to the team.”

















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